Projects, Prizes, and Grants

Photo by Sean Martin on Unsplash
Photo by Sean Martin on Unsplash

The Australian Centre for Federalism (ACF) promotes various grants and prizes in Comparative Federalism and Multi-Level Governance at the ANU, including:

Small Research Grants


The ACF is pleased to announce its 2022 funding round to support research projects that examine current themes in Comparative Federalism Research (in emerging federations of the Asia-Pacific). We are particularly interested in comparative research examining federalism, democracy, and policymaking (policy responses to climate change and COVID-19 in multi-tiered federal contexts), but also broader issues related to federalism and democracy (representation of ethnic minorities, social inclusion, urban and local solutions to national policy challenges). The theme of “democratic reinvigoration” comes on the heels of the prior funding round focused on “response to crisis.”

Federalism specific research has been reinvigorated during the past years of the global pandemic as policymaking problems and solutions, the goal of self plus shared-rule, and federally determined policy responses to emerging complex local and global issues, have been of paramount importance to understanding both intergovernmental cooperation and conflict. The ACF welcomes applications to fund innovative projects that will advance our understanding of the impact of federal systems of government and multilevel governance on democratic reinvigoration. We also welcome those looking at solving complex policymaking issues such as migration, climate change, social inclusion, and minority representation in federal contexts.

This round of funding to conduct research on reinvigorating federalism and democracy can be for stand-alone projects, pilot studies, or to support the development of a grant applications such as for ARC or NHMRC schemes. It may be used to gather qualitative or quantitative data, to fund data collection by field partners, to analyse and/or address social or policy questions through evidence-based research.


This grant round seeks to build research capacity in Federalism Studies at the ANU. Projects with outputs that raise the profile of federalism research while simultaneously contributing to wider strategic research priorities within the University (Asia Pacific) will be prioritised. Impact and benefits should be clearly stated in the proposal.

Who can apply?

ACF welcomes applications from all academic disciplines, as well as interdisciplinary projects. Research partnerships with other institutions can be funded, but the primary applicant must be an ACF affiliate at the ANU. If you are not an ACF affiliate, you may become one to be eligible to apply. Please email

HDR students are eligible to apply for funds in partnership with a supervisor.

When are applications due?

Opening: 08 April 2022
Closing: 10 May 2022
Notification of Outcome: 30 May 2022 *Subject to ethics approval

Applications for funding

  • Up to $4,000 can be requested for research projects led by current ACF affiliates; smaller projects will also be considered if the budget is justified
  • We will fund a maximum of 2 projects in this round, subject to budget requests
  • Ethics approval: projects can be submitted to this grant round prior to approval by the relevant ANU Ethics Committee. Where applicable, ethics approval must be obtained before the funding is allocated.
  • All projects will be featured on the ACF website and should include some content generated by the research for public outreach and dissemination. Expenses for such outputs can and should be included in the budget, and these outputs should be detailed in the project proposal. Applications that develop a funding proposal for a larger granting body should also produce an output for public dissemination.

What does funding cover?

  • A research plan that is COVID-safe and complies with current ANU travel advice is essential to the success of applications.
  • Funding requests can include (but are not strictly limited to): research assistance; appropriate and justified teaching relief to support research; expenses related to remote meetings, research, and field partnerships; fieldwork; payment for research subjects and other participants; software; survey expenses; access to archives; creation of digital platforms, tools or resources
  • Expenses related to public dissemination (such as podcast or video recording, website hosting, and so on) are supported.
  • Major equipment purchases will not be eligible
  • The proposed budget must be justified fully
  • There is no expectation that funds will be sought from other sources, but please indicate in the application if other funds have been secured or of any intentions to apply for additional funds.

Application materials:

The application template should include the following:

  • Outline of the project including its aims, significance and method, and role of each researcher (500-1,000 words)
  • Explanation of how the research engages a COVID plan to ensure safety of field partners, partner organizations, and participants overseas (300 words maximum)
  • Planned outputs and an estimated timeframe (300 words maximum)
  • A justified budget (1 page maximum)
  • Abbreviated CVs (2 pages maximum per participant)
  • A statement of any factors that should be considered ‘relative to opportunity’ (max 300 words). This may include research/teaching/personal disruptions, as we are very aware of the challenges faced by many of our affiliates at present.

Eligibility criteria:

  • A well-designed project with clear aims, methods, and significance.
  • Feasibility within the proposed timeframe.
  • Planned publications, grant proposals, and outreach; outputs should include content that supports the ACF.
  • Strong research record, relative to opportunity.
  • Justified budget.
  • Ethics clearance (in process or completed – funding is subject to clearance being obtained where required).

How to apply

Download and complete all sections of the project proposal template (attached at the bottom of the page). Email the proposal with ACF Small Grants in the email subject line.

Updated:  8 April 2022/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications